STELLENBOSCH, South Africa, Oct 20 (Reuters) - South Africa began a week of intense preparation for their tour to Europe but captain Jean de Villiers said on Monday they already had an eye on next year’s World Cup.
“We have only eight games left before the World Cup starts which is not a lot for whatever you want to work on,” he told reporters after the first day of a week-long training camp in the spiritual home of Springbok rugby in the Cape Winelands.
“The games coming up give us an opportunity to try combinations and tactics but most important for us will be to pick up where we left off against the All Blacks and against Australia.”
The Springboks beat both their Antipodean rivals in their last two games of the southern hemisphere’s Rugby Championships and De Villiers said the boost in confidence has meant a reinvigorated squad at their training camp.
This week South Africa’s squad will work on both conditioning and “getting the details right,” added De Villiers, who recently collected his 100th international cap.
”It’s not often we get a chance to prepare both at this stage of the season.
“We have a lot to work, we really need to work on all facets of our play. On attack, we need to work on decision-making, we made some basic errors in our last game against the All Blacks.”
South Africa snatched a dramatic 27-25 win in Johannesburg on Oct. 4 to end New Zealand’s 22-match record-winning stretch.
They next take on Ireland (Nov. 8), England (Nov. 15), Italy (Nov. 22) and Wales on Nov. 29.
“We set high standard on our last tours to Europe and we want to keep that up,” he added.
The 2015 World Cup will be staged next September and October in England and Wales.
Reporting by Mark Gleeson, editing by Pritha Sarkar